updated 02:50 pm EDT, Fri April 20, 2007
Microsoft Net Game Patent
Microsoft today had a patent published that could affect today's gaming hardware as well as future consoles and handhelds. Dubbed simply a "Multi-component gaming system," the technology would have virtually any device networked with a console share not only its data but its processor resources as part of a single larger system: digital media players, phones, and PCs could offload the work of secondary features in games, such as picture-in-picture, sound decoding, and other tasks.
While the patent may not translate to a finished product, the advent of 802.11n Wi-Fi and similar technologies may allow Microsoft to update the Xbox, Windows Mobile phones, and the Zune with software extensions that would enable the feature at a later date. [via Unwired View]